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Dixie Heights edges Notre Dame, 45-43, to claim first 9th Region girls basketball championship since 1992

Dixie Heights players prepare to receive the 9th Region Tournament championship trophy after defeating Notre Dame in overtime, 45-43, on Monday night at Holmes. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

After sitting out last year following knee surgery, Dixie Heights senior guard Laci Reinhart said she worked hard to rejoin her long-time friend Sydney Lockard for their final basketball season together.

“It held me back a little bit, but I’ve overcome it,” Reinhart said of the injury. “The first thing I said to Sydney when I got back was we’re going to go for a state championship this year.”

Dixie Heights senior Laci Reinhart puts up a shot after getting past two Notre Dame defenders. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Reinhart and her teammates took the first step toward that goal Monday night when Dixie Heights defeated Notre Dame, 45-43, in overtime in the championship game of the 9th Region tournament at Holmes High School.

The win puts Dixie Heights (27-2) in the state tournament for the first time since 1992. The Colonels will face 16th Region champion Russell (19-5) in a first-round game at 8 p.m. on April 8 at Rupp Arena.

“I’m so excited I can’t even express how I feel,” Reinhart said in a post-game interview Monday. “We haven’t won (region) since 1992. Right from the get-go, this is what we wanted. This is what we worked so hard for every day in practice.”

There was a wild finish in the region final. With 2.6 seconds left in the overtime period, Lockard missed two free throws that could have secured the victory. Notre Dame guard Lacey Bradshaw recovered the ball after the second miss and a whistle sounded as she threw up a shot from beyond half-court that fell short.

The three officials huddled together to determine if Bradshaw was fouled in the act of shooting, which would have given her three free-throw attempts. But the officials ruled she was fouled before the shot.

With one second put back on the clock, Notre Dame lobbed an inbounds pass to Bradshaw, who got off a hurried shot from beyond the 3-point line. The final horn sounded while the ball was in midair, but it bounced off the rim.

Notre Dame junior Lacey Bradshaw makes a strong move to the basket against Dixie Heights. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

It was the 22nd straight win for the Colonels, but they had to work hard for it. There were seven ties and five lead changes in the contest. Dixie Heights took a seven-point lead in the second and third quarters, but Notre Dame rallied both times.

Late in the fourth quarter, Bradshaw made back-to-back field goals that tied the score at 38-38 and sent the game into overtime. The Colonels took a 45-40 lead with 14 seconds left in the extra period, but Notre Dame junior Jillian MacKnight hit a 3-point shot to make it 45-43 and set the stage for the wild finish.

Bradshaw scored 19 points and teammate Macie Feldman netted 16 for the Pandas, who shot 30.2 percent (16 of 53) from the field, hitting 3 of 12 from 3-point range.

Dixie Heights shot 29.8 percent (14 of 47) from the field, but the Colonels hit 7 of 18 treys and had a 41-34 rebounding advantage. Madelyn Lawson snagged a game-high 14 missed shots for the winners.

Sophomore guard Samantha Berman scored 12 points off the bench for Dixie Heights, hitting three 3-point shots. Lockard, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.

DIXIE HEIGHTS   16  8    6  8   7 – 45
NOTRE DAME     13  6  13  6   5 – 43

DIXIE HEIGHTS (27-2): Lawson 1 4 6, Steczynski 2 0 6, Reinhart 2 0 5, Lockard 4 3 11, Smith 2 0 5, Berman 3 3 12. Totals: 14 10 45. 

NOTRE DAME (21-5): Feldman 6 4 16, MacKnight 1 0 3, Bradshaw 7 4 19, Moore 1 0 3, Disken 1 0 2. Totals: 16 8 43.

3-point goals: DH – Berman 3, Steczynski 2, Reinhart, Smith. ND – MacKnight, Bradshaw, Moore.

Dixie Heights –
Sydney Lockard (MVP), Ella Steczynski, Reese Smith. Notre Dame – Macie Feldman, Lacey Bradshaw. Ryle – Brie Crittendon, Austin Johnson. Highlands – Kelsey Listerman, Emma Riccobene. Ludlow – Jenna Lollard. NewCath – Annie Heck. Cooper – Kay Freihofer. Holy Cross – Kara Krumpelman.


•BROSSART 56, GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 49: Marie Kiefer scored 18 points to lead Bishop Brossart to a 56-49 win over George Rogers Clark in the girls 10th Region Tournament semifinals on Monday in Winchester.

The Mustangs made 12 of 15 free throws in the final two minutes to come out on top and end George Rogers Clark’s bid for a fifth straight region title.

Rosie Jump made all five of her free throws late in the fourth quarter to finish with 11 points and eight rebounds. Lauren Macht also scored 11 points for the Mustangs (20-5), who advance to the region final for the first time since 2006 and face Montgomery County at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Montgomery County (15-5) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and defeated Scott (16-9), 54-53, in the other 10th Region semifinal on Monday.


•ANDERSON COUNTY 40, WALTON-VERONA 22: Anderson County won its sixth consecutive game by posting a 40-22 triumph over Walton-Verona in the 8th Region Tournament semifinals on Monday night at North Oldham. Anderson County (25-2) will meet Spencer County for the 8th Region championship on Tuesday night.

Walton-Verona, which defeated Oldham County in the first round of the 8th Region Tournament, finished the season with an 18-9 record.

Dixie Heights sophomore Samantha Berman tries to get off a shot against Notre Dame junior Macie Feldman on Monday night. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

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